Women will be able to drive cars in Saudi Arabia

Saudi women caress a historical right, to be able to get behind the wheel in the streets of the kingdom. King Salman bin Abdelaziz has given the green light to a revolutionary reform in a decree issued late Tuesday. According to the Saudi news agency SPA, the order to issue women’s driving licenses will take effect next June.

The authorities, however, have provided no further details of the implementation of a measure claimed for years by the female population of the kingdom, the homeland of Wahhabism, a radical interpretation of Islam that has been a breeding ground for organizations such as Al Qaeda or self-denominated Islamic State.

For the application of this law, Salman have formed a committee composed of the Ministries of Interior, Labor, Finance and Social Development, which will have to present its recommendations on the application of the norm within a maximum period of thirty days. It will also be responsible for reforming traffic regulations so that women can exercise their rights “with equality”.

According to the state agency, the transcendental change is justified by “the negative consequences that caused not allowing the woman to drive a vehicle and the foreseeable advantages of allowing it.” It has also occurred after obtaining the pact of the majority of the members of the Authority of the Ulemas, favorable to the measure provided they respect “the guarantees of Sharia (Islamic legislation) to avoid problems.”

Earlier this month a cleric was cut short of preaching after publicly asserting that women should not drive because their brains are barely a quarter the size of men’s when they go shopping. The remarkable advance in a country where women were condemned so far to live in an eternal childhood occurs a week after the veto was lifted to women’s access to soccer stadiums and just a few months after physical education was included in the curriculum of the feminine schools of the kingdom, where a rigorous segregation by sex is in force.


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